Insecure Writer’s Support Group – No More Disclaimers

InsecureWritersSupportGroupBefore I get on my soap box for this month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group post, I must thank the Ninja Captain himself, along with his co-host for the month:  Sheena-kay Graham, Suzanne Furness, and Laura Eno!

If you have time, please visit and help some of the other IWSG participants.  You never know how your wisdom and experience can help another writer.

Ok, soap box time: I’ve noticed recently a disturbing trend and I need your help to put an end to it. Don’t get me wrong, I am guilty of it as well, but no more.

What is this trend among us writerly types were we add disclaimers before we share our work with others.

Raise your hand if you have said, written or even felt some version of the following?

I am so bad at pitching my project, but . . .
I am terrible at writing synopsis, but . . .
I am new to writing, so . . .
I didn’t have time to polish this, but . . .
I’ve never shown this to anyone, so . . .
 

Come on, raise your hand, don’t be shy. We are all friends here.

Why are we apologizing to each other for something we created. If any group of people in the world understands how hard this writing process is, it’s fellow writers.

When you preface something you share with an apology, you already put a preconceived impression of your own writing in the reader’s mind.  That preconceived impression is based entirely on your own insecurities and has nothing to do with the work itself.

Believe me, it is never as bad as you think it is and even it if is, well that’s what rewrites are for.

So, I am proclaiming this ‘stop apologizing for your work’ day.  Let  your work speak for itself.

Do you see this among fellow writers?  Do you do this? 

31 thoughts on “Insecure Writer’s Support Group – No More Disclaimers

  1. Yeah, I do this all the time. I’ve been trying to stop, since I noticed that I do it a lot, but it’s really hard! But you’re right, we need to have a little more faith in our work, and let it speak for itself.

  2. I totally used to do this, until a critiquer pointed out that I don’t need to, and in fact shouldn’t, because it lowers the readers expectations. Fake it till you make it, they say!
    (BTW, great job on reading 21 books this year so far! Go you. 🙂 )

  3. Very guilty of this. I never thought of it before but it’s true that it depreciates our work, which is exactly what I don’t want to do. I’m going to try to stop this nonsense right now!

  4. Sydney, I have to raise my hand on this one. I don’t know why I do it, but I’m sure insecurity has something to do with it. Besides, if all of our work was perfect then we’d all be best selling authors by now. I guess we just have to tell ourselves that it’s okay to not be perfect. Great post!

  5. I do it all the time, and I know some other writers who do it too. I recently said I’d share some of my work with a girl at work. I’ll try not to put a disclaimer on it first!

  6. Absolutely right….and I think, for the most part, it stems from people not wanting to seem -too- cocky. Nothing wrong with being confident but, then again, you don’t want to be the one always tooting your own horn. 🙂

  7. Hehe I’ve seen it a couple times already today, actually. You are so right that qualifying or pre-warning about our writing gives a preconceived impression of the work even before it’s been given a chance.

  8. Well said, Sydney!! We shouldn’t apologize.
    And I’ve never said any of those things because the only times I’ve posted a synopsis or snippet it was from the finished product. If I’m sorry at that point, then I’m a really sad writer!

  9. It’s interesting you should bring this up. A close friend and I were talking yesterday about my current work in progress. She knew I’ve been a bit nervous. What did she say? “You know, you’re such a self possessed person that it kind of makes me laugh at how nervous you get about your writing. You’ve got a strong mind, great instincts…and not an ounce of insecurity pretty much everywhere else.” I’ve started to learn that if it makes me nervous (or a bit scared) I’m probably heading in the right direction.

    1. That’s it. I think its natural to be nervous. Like when a singer performs in front of a crowd, but that same singer would never start her performance by saying, I don’t like this song, but here goes. HAHA. It has to do with the stakes, I think. This is my life’s work from my imagination. It’s a big deal. We just need to take it easy on ourselves.

      1. Exactly. I’ve done a lot of things I wasn’t emotionally invested in quite well. My nerves were usually fine. Odd that you should use a singer example…that’s the second most nervous I get (though I don’t doubt myself…knowing everyone is watching).

  10. Guilty! *sitting here with my hand up* Excellent post. I’ve noticed this with my own stuff and I’m trying hard no to get out of the habit. Thanks for the nudge with this one.

  11. Amen, to that. I remember back in school, I had a teacher who would make us sit down if we got up and started a speech or read our writing with an excuse/disclaimer. We get so busy trying to make ourselves feel better – but nobody freaking cares. As soon as I see a disclaimer, I skip down to the actual writing – because I just. don’t. care. It doesn’t change how I feel about what’s being written – it’s just fluff – and as writers we all know: fluff = garbage that needs to be taken out. With that said – yes, I do it too – and today I proclaim:
    I’m not going to apologize!
    I’m just going to share!
    because the truth is-
    No one will care!

    Hurray! Thanks for the post. We all needed it.

  12. AMEN, SISTAH!!! I agree with this. I used to do it a lot more, but since I’ve noticed it and am trying to stop, I’ve said it less and less. No apologies.

  13. Stop apologizing – You’re so right! I’ve seen it too. And I’ve seen other disclaimers, like bloggers protecting themselves from ticking someone off for their opinion, or acting like they’re afraid they might get sued or something, so the throw in a disclaimer and give up self validation for their thoughts. Yes, stop apologizing already!

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